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Morning Scoop: The young man who would be prom queen, budget woes, SWAT foul-up

May 28, 2009 |  9:58 am

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Good morning from the City Desk. A sampler of California stories from today's paper.

In today's Column One, Joel Rubin writes about an LAPD officer who woke up one morning to find a SWAT unit surrounding his home. They tore the place apart and found nothing. Then he started trying to get to the bottom of what had happened.

On Wednesday, write Eric Bailey and Alex Zavis, "The poor, the sick and the people who help them survive paraded into the state Capitol to plead with lawmakers to spare the programs Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said must be slashed to tame California's $24.3-billion budget deficit." Among those who came before a 10-member legislative budget panel reviewing the proposals: mothers of children with autism, poor parents whose children see dentists through state programs, former drug abusers set straight by a state-paid rehab program.

At Los Angeles' Fairfax High, Sergio Garcia, a gay 18-year-old,  ran for prom queen and won. "Gender-bending is just kind of in," one student told reporter Ari Bloomekatz.

The corruption investigation lasted five years, but the U.S. attorney in Sacramento has announced that former state Sen. Don Perata will not face criminal charges, Patrick McGreevy writes.

Peter Falk has dementia. His wife and daughter are fighting for control of him, reports Victoria Kim.

Metrolink may decide to hire its own crews, in the wake of the deadly Chatsworth crash, report Rich Connell and Robert Lopez.

We're following the budget hearings in Sacramento. We'll bring you other news as we get it.

-- Nita Lelyveld

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